Red Nose Day is a part of the school culture at Speedway Academies in Newark, New Jersey, where the students are taught that even the smallest amount can make a difference. Developed in partnership with NBC News Learn. To learn more about Red Nose Day: www.RedNoseDay.org
Schools in Action- Students Make a Difference at Speedway Academies
ATIBA BUCKMAN (Principal, Speedway Academies): Speedway Academies is a Title-I-funded school. So, a little over 90% of our students get free and reduced lunch. Some would say, "Oh my goodness, it's a Title-I-funded school, they have free and reduced lunch. You know, they don't have bank accounts and savings accounts with thousands of dollars yet." Right? You know, what can you do? But it's empowering to know that you can do something. We saw the first actual Red Nose celebration on television. And that gave me an idea. I spoke to one of my teachers, and she was like, "Well, let's create some curriculum so that it's more than just the jokes. And we wrote out some curriculum and we rolled it out in a few grades over time.
TANIA SAAVERDRA (Teacher): I was introduced to it by my principal. She said, "I have this great idea, guys. I want to fundraise some money to end child poverty."
BUCKMAN: And this has been, you know, a huge, huge part of our school culture now for four years.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: We can stop poverty by having coat drives…
BUCKMAN: It has grown so many legs, it's picked up momentum
MASR (Student): Raising money for Red Nose Day to help children in poverty makes me feel happy.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS (in unison): Red Nose Day!!
JASON HERNOULD (Teacher): We come together, and it's for a cause. And as you walk through the building you see it on every floor. It's definitely a community experience.
SHAREEK (Student): I really want to make a difference on Red Nose Day. And that just puts a spark in my heart. It makes me happy and makes me want to participate as well as much as I can.
UNIDENTIFIED TEACHER: How can we stop poverty?
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: I would have a lemonade stand. And all the money that I will raise will go to kids in need.
SAAVERDRA: You can be the change in the world. It's as simple as that. And it's important for them to know that even the smallest cent can make a difference. And also for people outside of our inner city to know that inner city kids can also make a difference.
HERNOULD: It gives me hope, right? Just seeing kids have fun and fun in support of a lot of big issues, that is awesome.
SHAREEK: When you're wearing the red nose, I mean, they're a representation of happiness, and they’re a representation of making the world a better place because these people are in such sad situations.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS (singing): Red Nose Day is a day we raise money…
BUCKMAN: Red Nose Day did help them to make a difference, to realize that the collective actually can make a difference. And when you add it together, you can move mountains.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS (singing): …for the people all around the world.